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August 5, 2021
The Best Things We’ve Tried Recently, From Bamboo Plates To Pasta
Here’s what we’re currently excited about.
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We try a lot of stuff. That’s just what happens when you spend most of your time covering restaurants, glassware, and weird dining decor finds. And, once in a while, the things we try wind up being so good that we need to spread the word. When that happens, we put them right here. In this month’s edition of The Best Things We’ve Tried Recently, you’ll find everything from edible cookie dough and pre-made cocktails to some custom mugs that are alarmingly cute and perfect for gifts. Just keep scrolling for our new favorite food, drink, home, and kitchen items.

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The Best Home and Kitchen Deals We’re Buying From the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

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East Fork Breakfast Bowl

“Everyone seems to love East Fork, and after getting their breakfast bowl and matching coffee mug in their Harvest Moon glaze, I see why. Their ceramics are thick, durable, and have a finished quality that feels like an actual human worked on them versus a machine. Photos don’t do this color justice; it’s a warm, cozy brown that feels like a hug, and it’s actually one of the brand’s most requested glazes.”

-Diana Tsui

Get East Fork Breakfast Bowl ($26) →

The Full Bar

“These pre-made drinks are perfect for those who aren’t good at making cocktails at home (or those who are just too lazy). I haven’t tried them all yet, but the Ginger Drop was delicious, well-balanced, and not too sweet. I recommend serving these over ice.”

- Alexandra Flowers

Get DRNXMYTH The Full Bar ($118) →

RKArtwork Custom Hand Painted Mug

“Do you know a coffee drinker who’s also obsessed with their pet? This is the perfect gift for said person. You can get a custom pet portrait in whatever attire you choose, even if your pet would never let you actually put them in these clothes. If you don’t want something custom, the artist (Rachel Kozlowski) also sells fun Dapper Animal plates at West Elm.”

-Emily Ng

Get RKArtwork Custom Hand Painted Mug ($30) →

Le Labo Petit Grain 21 Classic Candle

“The lovely [New York Staff Writer] Nikko Duren got this candle for me, and I’m obsessed with it! It smells really nice — like if an orange sprayed itself with perfume — and it burns super slow, so it’ll last a long time.”

-Julia Chen

Get Le Labo Petit Grain 21 Classic Candle ($78) →

Wavy Waffle & Pancake Mix

Ghetto Gastro, a culinary collective founded by Jon Gray, Pierre Serroa, Malcolm Livingston II, and Lester Walker, is one of my favorite follows on Instagram. They call their work gastro-diplomacy, using food and finesse to open borders, connect cultures, and create plant-based menus that are unlike anything else out there. They’re also deeply involved in charity, working to help those who experienced food insecurity due to the pandemic, and they sent food trucks to feed protesters during the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

Gray partnered up with Hornitos Tequila to create a food platform called Gastronomical, and their first release is a pancake and waffle mix, called Wavy Waffle, that’s made with vegan ingredients and ancient grains. There are two options: Ancestral Roots and Red Velvet. The former draws inspiration from the universality of breaking bread, connecting flavors from Africa, Asia and The Americas. Red Velvet pays homage to elders, by reimagining the Ancestral Roots mix with red dragon fruit, acai, strawberry, and hibiscus. Their next drop will feature a Matcha Wavy Waffle.”

-Diana Tsui

Get Wavy Waffle & Pancake Mix ($20) →

Makku Variety Pack

“I’ve been drinking a lot of hard seltzer over the past few months because this is somehow part of my job now. So let me tell you: switching over to Makku was a very nice change of pace. I recently got a variety pack of this relatively new canned makgeolli, and it included their mango, blueberry, passionfruit, and plain flavors. The thing is, I can’t tell you which variety I liked the best. I enjoyed these so much that I just pulled them out of the fridge indiscriminately and drank without taking my usual notes. That’s probably a good sign.”

-Bryan Kim

Get Makku Variety Pack ($56) →

Red Clay Cold-Pressed Hot Sauce & Spicy Honey

“Red Clay is a hot sauce company based in South Carolina that uses local ingredients. I had a chance to try their Hot Shebang set which features several types of pepper-based sauces with varying degrees of heat as well as their hot honey. Don’t expect these to burn your face off (even the Habanero was on the mild side). Instead, what I really liked about Red Clay’s sauces was their depth of flavor — everything had sweet, spicy, and sour notes that worked well when mixed into marinades or even potato or tuna salad.”

-Diana Tsui

Get Red Clay Cold-Pressed Hot Sauce & Spicy Honey ($28-$46) →

Crying in H Mart: A Memoir

“One of the better memoirs I’ve ever read. Since I finished it, I’ve had Michelle Zauner’s descriptions of banchan, doenjang jjigae, and nakji bokkeum floating around my brain for days. If you haven’t read this book yet (or if you haven’t listened to Japanese Breakfast’s newest album), take this as another sign that you should do both immediately.”

-Carlo Mantuano

Get Crying in H Mart: A Memoir ($25) →

Sfoglini Artisanal Pasta

“This pasta was a winner. I’ve written about Sfoglini’s subscription service before, but if you don’t want to commit to a monthly box full of pasta, this two-pack is also solid. In nine minutes, you get perfectly al dente pasta that beats any mushy takeout rigatoni.”

- Diana Tsui

Get Sfoglini Artisanal Pasta, Set of 2 ($20-$24) →

Doughp Bestseller 4-Pack

“Edible cookie dough really doesn’t need much explanation. I went with the bestseller 4-pack and they did not disappoint, but you can mix and match whatever flavors you’re into.”

-Alexandra Flowers

Get Doughp Bestseller 4-Pack ($34) →

Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp

“This chili crisp has the perfect amount of spicy/numbing flavor. It’s also super crunchy and goes great with basically anything. Recently, I’ve been loving it with TJ’s gyoza.”

-Julia Chen

Get Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp ($15) →

Poketo Bamboo Dinner Plate Set

“Poketo’s plates are durable, which is nice because I break things. Bamboo is also more sustainable than other materials (100% biodegradable, no plastic, fast-growing renewable resource). Plus, these come in fun patterns.”

-Emily Ng

Get Poketo Bamboo Dinner Plate Set ($48) →

The Grill Box

“Mail order shrimp and tuna is a luxury I didn’t know I needed in my life until this box showed up at my apartment. Pure Fish is a sustainable fish company that sells wild-caught seafood. Most of it is premium restaurant-grade center cuts (any extra bits get used for fancy dog food), and it comes frozen in oven-safe metal trays, so you can thaw and cook in the same pan. There’s minimal plastic, and nearly all the packaging can be recycled. As for the fish itself, we grilled up both the sea bass and ahi tuna, and everything was incredibly fresh and flavorful.”

-Diana Tsui

Get Purefish The Grill Box ($125) →

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